In a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study, it was found that laws that require impaired. -driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks in their vehicles reduce fatal crashes by 16%. IIHS estimates that if all states that do not have similar laws adopted them, over 500 lives could be saved every year.
What Are Alcohol Interlocks?
Alcohol interlocks are breath-testing devices that are installed in vehicles. They require a blood alcohol concentration usually between .02 and .04 percent before the car will start. 45 states require interlocks for some impaired-driving offenders. 28 states, the District of Columbia and some counties in California have some type of interlock requirement for first-time offenders.
The interlocks can be a deterrent for those who haven’t committed an offense yet if the fact that they are required for first-time offenders is well-known. According to the study, the main goal of alcohol interlocks to reduce alcohol-related deaths and injuries that occur as a result of a car accident.
According to Eric Teoh, and IIHS statistician, “We found that state laws mandating interlocks for all DUI offenders reduced the number of drivers in fatal crashes with BACs of 0.08 percent or higher by 16 percent compared with no interlock law.” In Teoh’s analysis of the study, it was found that laws that required interlocks for repeat offenders only cut the number of drivers with BACs of .08% by 3%, compared with no law. However, laws that required both repeat offenders and first-time offenders to get interlocks when they had high BACs, produced an 8% benefit.
In Florida, the law states that use of an ignition interlock is mandatory after the second offense. Do you think it should be changed to the first offense? Why or why not? Let us know!